Today at the Conclave, we are pleased to welcome Alison McVey of the Night Shift Nurse, who is currently working on her first book. Alison is a relationship counsellor and sex therapist.
Welcome to the Conclave, Alison. Delighted to have you with us.
Thank you, I’m honored to be here!
The internet has opened up all kinds of possibilities and career opportunities that we couldn’t have imagined before, and this is the case with you. Could you tell us about your work in relationship counselling, and the general philosophy behind your business?
The Internet is amazing! It has opened up the doors to people that have resisted asking for medical help, have issues with basic socialization, and those that keep their relationship problems hidden away for fear of judgement. I am looking to mend and improve relationships through the wonders of bedroom adventures and communication. I bring the marriage counselor and the sex therapist out of the office and into your own home.
What led you to this line of work?
I started out my career in geriatrics. I watched and studied couples that had amazing love stories. I asked them their secrets. The best part of talking to couples at the end of their lives, is they have no filter. No shame or embarrassment in spilling all of their dirty little secrets and tips! I was blessed to be raised in a home where love, honor and respect were not only expected, but shown through the way they interacted with each other. I was brought up to be proud of myself, have self worth, and not to be ashamed of my sexuality.
Have you faced opposition and criticism for your career choice?
At times, I have. Being on the Internet, I’ve had questions from all over the world. Not always polite or respectful. Some women have been harder on me than any man ever would. While I have modern views on being creative, I have old-fashioned views on self respect and lasting relationships. Everyone’s grandmother has at one time has said, “Why buy the cow, when the milk is free?” in one variation or another. I live by this. We live in a world where women are sending naked selfies to a man before he even takes her on a date. I shout out, sometimes loudly, this has got to stop! Respect yourself and respect your future partner. Find love, and build an amazing home with a strong foundation and room to grow… and never stop growing.
What do you feel you can offer that a cousellor in a traditional face-to-face setting cannot?
By talking to me from their home, computer or smart phone, it takes away the nervousness of an office visit, keeps them in your comfort zone, and works around their schedule. Men find it much easier to share their inadequacies incognito, and in turn women aren’t holding in the questions they really want to ask. I can get to the root of their marital problems much more rapidly than a therapist in an office. Where in some face-to-face occasions it can take several sessions to even crack the ice, I can usually get the deeply rooted problem out in the open immediately. They feel safe and secure when their identity is protected.
Do you feel that people respond better to a woman than they would to a man in the same job?
That’s a good question. If you are compassionate, a peacemaker, creative, knowledgeable, and have the communication skills needed, it doesn’t matter what your gender is. It’s all about how people respond to you. I believe that all little girls can become superheroes… but so can all little boys.
Thankfully, we have come a long way since the days when women were told to lie back and think of England, or just put up with it. Do you believe that relationships between the sexes have developed more positively since then?
In the modern world, absolutely! Men and women are taking active roles to please each other and themselves. Relationships are growing in and out of the bedroom. Of course, in some areas of the world we are sadly still behind, but we are on the right path. Recently, female genital mutilation was banned in Nigeria. It’s steps like these that bring hope to the rest of the world.
Now tell us about your writing. I understand that your book is on the same subject as your business. When did you start writing?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Love poems to my school crush, songs, letters to my favourite authors and athletes. Building a fantasy world for myself and diving in.
That sounds like a familiar tale. Now, about your writing technique. Despite sex being a natural act, yours is still a subject many consider taboo, or wish to talk about only in clinical terms. Do you find you have to choose your words carefully, or have you already concluded that you can’t win everyone over?
The opposite from choosing my words carefully! I’ve found if I write in technical terms, I lose the focus of my reader. I’ve actually had to learn to turn the potty mouth on! Say the words, let yourself get embarrassed… and let that grow to excited, and be passionate with your lover.
Do you see your writing as a promotional tool for your business, or do you see it as more than that? What do you hope people will take from it?
Strengthening relationships is my business. I hope that couples take the knowledge that nothing should be off limits in their own bedroom. That relationships should not be left to grow cold. If you are lonely as you lie beside someone, it is time to change. I am here to help.
Thank you for talking to us today, and we wish you all the best with your work.
Thank you, it’s been truly my pleasure.